Title:
BEER BALL
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
The present invention is a substantially spherical beverage container that enables a person to carry a large volume, about 480 to 720 fluid ounces, of beverage or other fluid. In several embodiments of the present invention the container has at least one handle, but preferably two handles are integrated into the container. The container is preferably made of recyclable material. More preferably the container is made of only one type of recyclable material to facilitate easy recycling.



Inventors:
Polano, Jason (Sudbury, CA)
Renaud, Lynn (Sudbury, CA)
Application Number:
12/418655
Publication Date:
12/17/2009
Filing Date:
04/06/2009
Primary Class:
Other Classes:
222/399, 222/394
International Classes:
B65D83/00
View Patent Images:
Related US Applications:



Primary Examiner:
WEISS, NICHOLAS J
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
AP Patents (Williams Bay, WI, US)
Claims:
What is claimed:

1. A beer container comprising: a substantially spherical hollow shell of recyclable plastic to hold beer; at least one handle integrated into said hollow shell, a spear structure fixed to the hollow shell and including a dispenser tube extending from a bottom interior region of the hollow shell through to a dispensing outlet at the top of the hollow shell, a valve for supplying pressurizing gas into the interior of the hollow shell, and a beer dispenser valve at the dispensing outlet.

2. A beer container as claimed in claim 1, wherein the spear structure including the valve for supplying pressurizing gas and the beer dispensing valve is constructed of recyclable plastic.

3. A beer container as claimed in claim 1, wherein the hollow shell has an upwardly projecting tubular neck which surrounds an upper part of the spear structure.

4. A beer container as claimed in claim 1, further comprising a peripheral base rim to provide a base on which the container can be stood upright.

5. A beer container as claimed in claim 1, wherein the lower part of the hollow shell forms an upwardly dished floor support to provide a base on which the container can be stood upright.

6. A beer container as claimed in claim 1, wherein the lower part of the hollow shell forms a flat floor support to provide a base on which the container can be stood upright.

7. A beer container as claimed in claim 1, further comprising a thermochromatic strip along the exterior of the hollow shell to indicate the level of fluid in the container.

8. A beer container as claimed in claim 1, further comprising a thermochromatic strip along the exterior of the hollow shell to indicate the temperature of the fluid inside the container.

9. A beer container comprising: a substantially spherical hollow shell of biodegradable plastic to hold beer; at least one handle integrated into said hollow shell, a plastic film lining the interior of said hollow shell, a spear structure fixed to the hollow shell and including a dispenser tube extending from a bottom interior region of the hollow shell through to a dispensing outlet at the top of the hollow shell, a valve for supplying pressurizing gas into the interior of the hollow shell and a beer dispenser valve at the dispensing outlet.

10. A beer container as claimed in claim 9, wherein the spear structure including the valve for supplying pressurizing gas and the beer dispensing valve are constructed of recyclable plastic.

11. A beer container as claimed in claim 9, wherein the hollow shell has an upwardly projecting tubular neck which surrounds an upper part of the spear structure.

12. A beer container as claimed in claim 9, further comprising a peripheral base rim to provide a base on which the container can be stood upright.

13. A beer container as claimed in claim 9, wherein the lower part of the hollow shell forms an upwardly dished floor support to provide a base on which the container can be stood upright.

14. A beer container as claimed in claim 9, wherein the lower part of the hollow shell forms a flat floor support to provide a base on which the container can be stood upright.

15. A beer container as claimed in claim 9, further comprising a thermochromatic strip along the exterior of the hollow shell to indicate the level of fluid in the container.

16. A beer container as claimed in claim 9, further comprising a thermochromatic element along the exterior of the hollow shell to indicate the temperature of the fluid inside the container.

17. A beer container comprising: a substantially spherical hollow shell of recyclable plastic to hold beer; at least one handle integrated into said hollow shell, a plastic film lining the interior of said hollow shell, a spear structure fixed to the hollow shell and including a dispenser tube extending from a bottom interior region of the hollow shell through to a dispensing outlet at the top of the hollow shell, a valve for supplying pressurizing gas into the interior of the hollow shell and a beer dispenser valve at the dispensing outlet, wherein the spear structure including the valve for supplying pressurizing gas and the beer dispensing valve is constructed of recyclable plastic.

18. A beer container as claimed in claim 17, wherein the lower part of the hollow shell forms an upwardly dished floor support to provide a base on which the container can be stood upright.

19. A beer container as claimed in claim 17, wherein the lower part of the hollow shell forms a flat floor support to provide a base on which the container can be stood upright.

20. A beer container as claimed in claim 17, further comprising a thermochromatic element along the exterior of the hollow shell.

Description:

CROSS REFERENCE TO RELATED APPLICATION

This patent application is related to and claims priority from U.S. Provisional Patent Application Ser. No. 61/131,819 filed Jun. 12, 2008.

FIELD OF THE INVENTION

This invention generally pertains to fluid containers. More specifically, the present invention relates to a plastic beer container for draught beer dispensing.

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

The invention is particularly applicable to beer kegs and will be described with particular reference thereto. However, it will be appreciated by those skilled in the art that the invention has broader applications and may also be adapted for use in containers or vessels for storing and shipping other beverages, as well as assorted fluids, such as chemicals, paints, and the like.

Most conventional beer kegs were made entirely or partly out of a metal, such as aluminum or steel. These kegs were generally provided with openings in the side and top walls in which a filler plug and a tapper plug were respectively mounted. Metal kegs are, however, heavy, and therefore difficult to handle, dent fairly easily and are noisy in handling. Moreover, it is expensive to construct metal kegs, especially if they are constructed of expensive stainless steel or difficult to weld aluminum.

Another type of beer keg which has recently come into use includes a metal barrel which is completely enclosed by a plastic coating. An even more recent type of keg provides a metal barrel, only the ends of which are encased in a plastic material. There are, however, disadvantages to both of the plastic/metal kegs mentioned above in that they are still cumbersome to carry and expensive to construct. These two primary problems cause cans and bottles to be preferred by consumers over kegs. Purchasing a keg of beer usually requires a large deposit on the keg itself and requires the consumer to return the keg to the beer distributor after the beer is finished.

Accordingly, it has been considered desirable to develop a new and improved fluid container which would overcome the foregoing difficulties and others while providing better and more advantageous overall results

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

The present invention is a beverage container that enables a person to carry a large volume, about 480 to 720 fluid ounces, of beverage or other fluid. In several embodiments the container is substantially spherical with a flat base. In several embodiments the container has at least one handle, but preferably two handles are integrated into the container. It is envisioned that multiple handles or grips could be placed at effective locations and positions on the container. One purpose for the spherical shape of the container is to reduce the surface area of the container, which helps reduce heat gained by the liquid inside and to reduce the amount of material needed to contain a certain volume of liquid.

The container is preferably made of recyclable material. More preferably the container is made of only one type of recyclable material to facilitate easy recycling. Even more preferably the container is made of only one type of recyclable plastic to facilitate easy recycling. The container could also be constructed in part or completely of biodegradable plastic. A plastic film could be used inside the container, so liquid does not contact the biodegradable or recyclable hollow shell. This is especially advantageous if the hollow shell is constructed of one of the many biodegradable materials that degrade to rapidly for practical use when they come in contact with liquids. For this same reason the hollow shell could also be coated with a film of plastic on the exterior to protect the hollow shell from exterior liquids or environmental moisture.

The container preferably features a thermochromatic element for indicating the temperature of the liquid inside the container or for indicating the level of the liquid in the container.

OBJECTS OF THE INVENTION

It is, therefore, one of the primary objects of the present invention to provide a beverage container that enables a larger volume of beverage to be carried by an individual.

Another object of the present invention is to provide a less expensive alternative to typical beer kegs.

Still another object of the present invention is to provide a large recyclable beverage container.

Yet another object of the present invention is to provide a large biodegradable beverage container.

Yet still another object of the present invention is to provide a beverage container that keeps the fluid inside from warming as quickly as prior beverage containers without many of the associated drawbacks.

In one embodiment the invention is a beer container comprising: a substantially spherical hollow shell of recyclable plastic to hold beer; at least one handle integrated into said hollow shell, a spear structure fixed to the hollow shell and including a dispenser tube extending from a bottom interior region of the hollow shell through to a dispensing outlet at the top of the hollow shell, a valve for supplying pressurizing gas into the interior of the hollow shell, and a beer dispenser valve at the dispensing outlet. In another embodiment the spear structure including the valve for supplying pressurizing gas and the beer dispensing valve is constructed of recyclable plastic. In another embodiment the hollow shell has an upwardly projecting tubular neck which surrounds an upper part of the spear structure. In another embodiment the beer container, further comprises a peripheral base rim to provide a base on which the container can be stood upright. In another embodiment the lower part of the hollow shell forms an upwardly dished floor support to provide a base on which the container can be stood upright. In yet another embodiment the lower part of the hollow shell forms a flat floor support to provide a base on which the container can be stood upright. In another embodiment the beer container further comprises a thermochromatic strip along the exterior of the hollow shell to indicate the level of fluid in the container. In still another embodiment the beer container further comprises a thermochromatic strip along the exterior of the hollow shell to indicate the temperature of the fluid inside the container.

In yet another embodiment the invention is a beer container comprising: a substantially spherical hollow shell of biodegradable plastic to hold beer; at least one handle integrated into said hollow shell, a plastic film lining the interior of said hollow shell, a spear structure fixed to the hollow shell and including a dispenser tube extending from a bottom interior region of the hollow shell through to a dispensing outlet at the top of the hollow shell, a valve for supplying pressurizing gas into the interior of the hollow shell and a beer dispenser valve at the dispensing outlet. In another embodiment the spear structure including the valve for supplying pressurizing gas and the beer dispensing valve are constructed of recyclable plastic. In yet another embodiment the hollow shell has an upwardly projecting tubular neck which surrounds an upper part of the spear structure. In another embodiment the beer container, further comprises a peripheral base rim to provide a base on which the container can be stood upright. In still another embodiment the lower part of the hollow shell forms an upwardly dished floor support to provide a base on which the container can be stood upright. In another embodiment wherein the lower part of the hollow shell forms a flat floor support to provide a base on which the container can be stood upright. In yet another embodiment the beer container further comprises a thermochromatic strip along the exterior of the hollow shell to indicate the level of fluid in the container. In yet another embodiment the beer container further comprises a thermochromatic element along the exterior of the hollow shell to indicate the temperature of the fluid inside the container.

In still yet another embodiment the invention is a beer container comprising: a substantially spherical hollow shell of recyclable plastic to hold beer; at least one handle integrated into said hollow shell, a plastic film lining the interior of said hollow shell, a spear structure fixed to the hollow shell and including a dispenser tube extending from a bottom interior region of the hollow shell through to a dispensing outlet at the top of the hollow shell, a valve for supplying pressurizing gas into the interior of the hollow shell and a beer dispenser valve at the dispensing outlet, wherein the spear structure including the valve for supplying pressurizing gas and the beer dispensing valve is constructed of recyclable plastic. In yet still another embodiment the lower part of the hollow shell forms an upwardly dished floor support to provide a base on which the container can be stood upright. In another embodiment the lower part of the hollow shell forms a flat floor support to provide a base on which the container can be stood upright. In yet another embodiment the beer container, further comprises a thermochromatic element along the exterior of the hollow shell.

It is to be understood that both the foregoing general description and the following detailed description are merely exemplary of the invention, and are intended to provide an overview or framework for understanding the nature and character of the invention as it is claimed. The accompanying drawings are included to provide a further understanding of the invention, and are incorporated in and constitute a part of this specification. The drawings illustrate various embodiments of the invention; and together with the description serve to explain the principles and operation of the invention.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

FIG. 1 is a general perspective view of one embodiment of the present invention.

FIG. 2 is a general perspective view of another embodiment of the present invention.

FIG. 3 is a general perspective view of yet another embodiment of the present invention.

FIG. 4 is a cutaway view of one embodiment of the present invention.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF A PRESENTLY PREFERRED AND VARIOUS ALTERNATIVE EMBODIMENTS OF THE INVENTION

Prior to proceeding to the more detailed description of the present invention it should be noted that, for the sake of clarity and understanding, identical components which have identical functions have been identified with identical reference numerals throughout the several views illustrated in the drawing figures.

Reference is now made, more particularly, to FIG. 1 which is a general perspective view of one embodiment of the present invention. The current embodiment of the present invention comprises a primarily spherical body 10 with flat base 12, exterior handles 14 are attached or integrated onto body 10. Thermochromatic element 16 is fixed to the exterior of the hollow shell 10 for indicating the temperature of the liquid inside the hollow shell 10 or for indicating the level of the liquid in the hollow shell 10.

Reference is now made to FIG. 2, a general perspective view of another embodiment of the present invention. The current embodiment of the present invention comprises a primarily spherical body 10 with flat base 12, interior handles 14 are integrated into body 10. Thermochromatic element 16 is fixed to the exterior of the hollow shell 10 for indicating the temperature of the liquid inside the hollow shell 10 or for indicating the level of the liquid in the hollow shell 10.

Reference is now made to FIG. 3, a general perspective view of yet another embodiment of the present invention. The current embodiment of the present invention comprises a primarily spherical body 10 with flat base 12, exterior handles 14 are attached or integrated onto body 10.

Reference is now made to FIG. 4, cutaway view of one embodiment of the present invention. In this embodiment the container includes a spear dispensing structure 22 fixed to the hollow shell 10 comprising a dispensing tube 30, a valve (not shown) for supplying gas or air into the interior of the hollow shell and a beer dispenser valve 34 at the dispensing outlet 36. In this embodiment a hand pump 38 is used to deliver air into the hollow shell 10, thus creating the pressure needed to dispense beer. It is envisioned that pressurized gas could be used in place of the hand pump 38.

While a presently preferred and various alternative embodiments of the present invention have been described in sufficient detail above to enable a person skilled in the relevant art to make and use the same it should be obvious that various other adaptations and modifications can be envisioned by those persons skilled in such art without departing from either the spirit of the invention or the scope of the appended claims.